Wednesday, 26 December 2018


Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is. I mean you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

You may recognise that quote from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.

I’ve been spoilt, really. I’ve had a few flatmates when living abroad, and we got on fine. I can’t think of any moments where we didn’t just get on with it. I moved back to the UK and lived with my sister a bit. Then I moved out and lived on the first floor of a converted bungalow, so that the only thing I shared with the downstairs landlord was the kitchen. This again was fine - separate everything, use of the kitchen whenever, and again, we got on fine. We were both very singular people. He liked playing on his PS4 and I liked watching whatever I wanted whenever I wanted on telly. I think the only problem we had was that twice in 4 years I forgot the rent (he only took cash and there were no ATMs near me as it was in the middle of Bumblefuck Nowhereville). However, cash in hand and a case of beer in apology later and he was happy again.

Now I’ve moved and sharing with a new person and I’m beginning to realise how stifling sharing can be when the person you’re sharing with thinks you’re living together, not just sharing a house.

Things to take into account: I’m a very singular person. I’m an INTJ. I’m introverted. I like long stretches of time by myself. In fact I like Alone Time more than people full stop. After a long day of working with people who are very friendly and like to get on with others through the medium of chat, I just want quiet time to myself because (1) I’m all talked out and (2) I’m all people’d out.

When I arrive home however, it seems I have to engage in the human ritual of explaining how my day was at work (which cannot be interesting to anyone else, bearing in mind I work in payroll) and then to listen to someone else’s day at work (see above point - not interested in the slightest. I think the only time I could be interested in someone’s day at work is if they worked for NASA).

Eating in peace is a physical impossibility - apparently you need to explain what you’re cooking and how at each step. And then when you just want to sit down and eat, you’re expected to do it in the shared living space (front room) and continue talking or share some telly. Except no-one else likes the kind of telly I want to watch (and am trying to catch up on) so I end up wasting my night watching something we can both see (without spoilers for shows we both watch but we’re at different points in a series, for example, or some series I’ve already seen but they haven’t had the chance yet and I have the boxed set).

This is mostly me, I know that. I’m not used to sharing my time once I get home from work because I’ve never had to. I’ve either lived alone or lived with a flatmate who’s as independent as I am and doesn’t need me. This has always suited me very well. Now I just have to get used to living how it is. I’m not happy about it, but it’s a trade-off. I can’t afford a place by myself and I can’t give up this house as my flatmate can’t either. A deal is a deal, and it’s done.

I am exploring reasons to just stay out of the house after work - don’t ask me about the whole ‘going to a club’ fiasco, because I don’t have the energy and to be honest I don’t know what else I expected from that conversation. Suffice it to say, I have to get out of the house more. This does not help my problems of (1) having Alone Time or (2) catching up on the TV I’m trying to watch, but it does at least alleviate the feeling of oppressiveness when at home.

Case in point: I’m in bed and it’s 11am on a day off. Reason I’m in bed typing this and not using the table in the front room or the dining table in the kitchen, with a pot of tea? Because Housemate is downstairs (they never seem to go out) and once they start talking at me I won’t get anything done. I’ll need my massive headphones on to drown out whatever they’re doing and I’ll be seen as anti-social - and interruptions happen whether I put up the most obvious of social cues or not. And then, here in bed, I get a message on my phone: "are you awake and are you alright?" How about you go find something else to think about besides me - I neither need nor enjoy being checked on every time I don't appear in the front room, for fuck's sake. If they could just understand that I don’t share a house to be social, I share a house to have a home I can relax in, and at the moment I can’t even do that, I’m sure things would be different.

But like I said, I can’t afford a place by myself and I can’t leave them high and dry with a new place when they can’t either.

And that’s probably more than is fit to print, but hey, I need to get this out.

Friday, 30 November 2018

“You people are so tiny. And petty.”

Couldn’t resist a Thor quote, there. Well strictly speaking it’s from The Avengers, but Thor said it so whatever. And it sums up what I've been thinking about the last place I lived, so it's all good.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) - The Avengers (2012)
I’ve moved. I know I’ve mentioned it a few times, but I now live in the Republic of Mancunia and I’m slowly getting used to things. I shall expound upon these things thus:

Artics - them great huge things as haul all your shit up and down the motorways? They’re called wagons.

Tea - as in, do you want a cup of one - are now exclusively referred to as ‘a brew’ at all times, not just when you’re tired or hung over.

Big light - as in the ceiling light in the room - is still called the Big Light. I’m thanking my grandparents for calling it that early on in my childhood.

“Are you right?” - I am now fully justified in saying this, as it’s how it’s said up here. Because that’s normal, so everyone who’s been telling me it’s been wrong for the past decade or so that I can remember is actually and in every way wrong. So there.

The drive to work - now only 30 mins, not 60, and actually it’s easier when your part of the M60 is the bit other people don’t know exists. Love you, junctions 22 to 24.

However, that being said, some people use the motorway like it’s a tiny A road through the arse end of nowhere and that’s just dangerous. Please start doing more than 45 mph in the (otherwise empty) inside lane, fuckwits.

The people at work - capable of higher awareness yet tempered with a kindness for absolute strangers that is both baffling and a wonderful thing. I’m almost beginning to see what the Doctor sees in humans. Almost. I mean, they put on a buffet with a superlatively broad array of choices to cater for people with religious or biological food needs without thinking twice - that is so hard to get across to most people, but near a city it’s almost second-nature. It’s great.

At the same time they’re not just nice to your face then talking shit about you once you’re not in the room; if they have a problem they’ll tell you. They’ll just be careful how they say it. It’s refreshing.

It reminds me of why I wanted to move to be within city limits in the first place. I’m nowhere near the centre, but at least I’m within its range, so I still get the ripple effects without having to be in the expensive postcodes.

And on that note, I’m off to see what’s on the 2 cinemas near me this weekend.

Peach and lube, people - peach and bloody lube.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Movies catch-up

Now I’ve moved, it’s come to my attention that I have not done any of the film reviews I normally do. This is partly because I’ve been “busy” (i.e. too lazy), and partly because I really haven’t been in the mood. Well here we go - a quick run-down of the ones I haven’t yet reviewed, in date order:

Mission Impossible: Fallout (1st August 2018)

Mission Impossible: Fallout
Verdict: 9/10 - A fun, well-put-together action romp, full of one-liners, great grudge match moments and even some proper Acting by all concerned. Saw this twice in the cinema - just for my favourite two moments (“That’s right - PRICK”, and ‘why won’t you just die?”). Honestly, based on the last few MI films, this one had no business being so much proper fun (and more than made up for the last few lacklustre movies). Will be watching this again on digital when it arrives.

King of Thieves (4th September 2018)

Verdict: 7.5/10 - A based-on-true-events story of a bunch of supposedly past it blokes doing the Hatton Garden job back in 2015. This is not about cuddly old grandads having a laugh as they try to rip off a jewellery store shut for the Easter break, this is about a group of hardened bastards trying to get away with anything they can, for the most they can. Good cast and good acting - and depending on who you were rooting for, the ending was pretty clean.

The Predator (13th September 2018)

Verdict: 7/10 - If you were expecting something in the same vein as the original Predator or any of its sequels, think again. This is like a Syfy original movie version, complete with characters who explain the plot for us, bad guys being in the right corners, and some cheesy lines. They do one or two throwbacks to the originals, which gave us all a good laugh and definitely helped the movie along, but this is its own film and it’s not trying to rehash some beloved plot line from years gone by. Although it’s not hard to guess ‘what’s in the box?’, and you will be upset when the inevitable happens to certain characters, this is an enjoyable shoot-em-up that is good a disposable night in.

Venom (3rd October 2018)

Verdict: 8/10 - Wow. This is the year everything changes - people no longer care what critics think and go to watch whatever movie they feel like, and then broadcast to everyone via social media just what they thought of it. For example, Venom had a 29% rating by ‘critics’ on Rotten Tomatoes, but an 86% rating by the audience. I definitely agree with the audience rating on this one - it was loud, it was brash, it was strangely compelling, and most of this was down to Tom Hardy. Picking someone so over-qualified for the job of playing Eddie Brock worked out well; Eddie quickly becomes the person you root for, as he’s a bit of a disaster and not the sharpest tool in the drawer when it comes to thinking on his feet. The only reason this is getting an 8 and not a 9 is down to a bit of clumsy character development, which could have been fixed with one or two throwaway lines by the symbiote. Anyway, good times, and I will be watching this again.

First Man (13th October 2018)

Verdict: 8/10 - I’ll be honest: I did not want to sit through a 2.5 hour movie about the first man on the moon. However, I had an afternoon free and it was about space, so why not? Ryan Gosling does his usual good job, the script is polished and felt solid, and you have some really good cast members making it worth it. Claire Foy is impressive and is rapidly getting to be one of those actresses who can become someone different with every job she takes. She will go far. Not to the moon, but hopefully far. With her new Girl in the Spider’s Web movie coming soon, she is one to watch.

Johnny English Strikes Back (14th October 2018)

Verdict: 6/10 - A Sunday afternoon movie and a pretty funny one, if you can wait the 10 - 15 minutes in between good jokes. Rowan Atkinson is awesome as always, but seeing him in these films does make me wish he’d do another season of Blackadder instead.

Bohemian Rhapsody (24th October 2018)

Verdict: 9/10 - Awesome, awesome, awesome. Rami Malek is of course brilliant, the casting of the other band members inspired, and with such a back catalogue to get through, what’s not to like? You don’t have to be a fan of either Queen or Freddie Mercury to enjoy this film; the scenes between the band members being band members are gold, and the interaction between them and the contrast of loneliness is a powerful one. Not sure if Oscars are in order, but it’s definitely one I’m watching a few times.

Beetlejuice (30th Anniversary Showing) (30th October 2018)

Verdict: 9/10 - How has this aged? Well the effects are old and the actors very young, but the jokes are still good and the social commentary still relevant. Barbara’s calling-out of the ghoul being a pervert, and how she treats Lydia, are still awesome and you can’t beat a bit of Alec Baldwin before his Hunt for Red October days. All in all just plain fun.

Overlord (5th November 2018)

Verdict: 9/10 - Yay! A twist on the science-experiment-gone-wrong premise and a nice fresh set of people to bring it to us. I liked the idea of it basically being a creepy thriller (this is not a slasher or gore flick) that accidentally happens to people trying to have their actual film about the second world war. Nothing here will surprise you, but it’s done so well and everyone in it knows exactly what they’re doing on set, so this is an enjoyable 2 hours of ‘don’t let that dude die! We like him!’ etc. Totally worth the price of a cinema ticket, and I will be watching this again. Odd though, how the main dude in the film (Jovan Adepo) isn’t even on the movie poster. Hmm.

And that’s about it - I haven’t been to the cinema since and that’s just disgusting. However, what with Christmas coming up and the usual dearth of anything resembling interesting at the box office, I guess I’ll have to wait till the new year for the nest round. Oh, and cancel my cinema card with the current chain and get one with their rival. I now live equidistant between 2 Odeons. Get in!


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